Arjun Singh : I am not a sycophant

HRD Minister Arjun Singh on Monday asserted that he was a loyalist and not a sycophant and stuck to his views that Rahul Gandhi has the capacity to be a potential Prime Ministerial candidate.

A day after he attempted to play down the controversies surrounding him in the Congress, Singh told reporters "I am a loyalist and not a sycophant and there is no need for me to give any statement on oath."

On Rahul, he said there was nothing wrong in projecting the young leader as the Prime Ministerial candidate in the next polls.

Singh said he was only suggesting that Rahul has the capacity to become Prime Minister and that he was not seeking removal of Manmohan Singh and making the Congress general secretary as the Prime Minister right now.

Asked whether his statement meant that Manmohan Singh should not be projected the Prime Minister in the next polls, Singh said it was for the party to decide on the issue when elections come.

His statement on Rahul for Prime Minister had triggered a snub from the AICC with party spokesman saying that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul wanted to stay away from an atmosphere of sycophancy.

He dismissed suggestions that Congress President Sonia Gandhi was unhappy with him. "I have not felt like that. What can I say about a thing which has no base," he said.

Singh also denied that Gandhi had asked him to give up the key HRD ministry and take up another charge. "She never spoke to me about it. Never", he added.